Church People Deacon Andrei Psarev Lives of Bishops Metropolitan Anthony Non-Orthodox

‘The Soul and Heart of A Faithful Englishman is not Limited by Utilitarian Goals and Plans’: the Relations of Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitskii with the Anglican Church

Metropolitan Antonii (seated third from left in the front row), along with members of a special ROCOR commission for the implement of rapprochement between Orthodox and Anglicans. This photo was taken in Belgrade on March 31, 1927. Source: Russkaia Pravoslavnaia Tserkov' Zagranitsei: 1918-1968, Prince A. Sologub, ed. 1 (Jerusalem, 1968), 69. If anyone can identify the Anglicans in this group photo, please contact the author by email:

One of paradoxes of Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitskii was that his strict ecclesiology was contrasted with embracing attitude toward Anglicans.

To Brandon Gallaher


Metropolitan Anthony is rather a known quantity in terms of Russian church history 1. However, having had the opportunity to examine the Canon Douglas archive in Lambeth Palace Library in London and a variety of rare serials, I believe that there remain a few surprises, particularly with regard to his stance on Non-Orthodox Christians. Not everything from Anthony’s theological legacy can be accepted as an expression of the regula fidei. For example, this paper will argue that while Metropolitan Anthony called for restoration of the teachings of the Byzantine ecclesiastical Fathers, rejecting the ‘scholastic’ systems as Western imports to the Russian theological schools, he adopted a scholastic theological opinion in characterizing the baptism of schismatics as per se invalid—unless and until the empty forms of heterodox mysteries were filled with Grace at the moment of reception of a convert into the Orthodox Church. At the same time, Metropolitan Anthony was open to honest ecumenical dialogue, seeing it as an opportunity for uncompromising testimony to the Orthodox faith. He must be credited for this firmness because the persecuted state of the Church in Russia after the revolution and the distressed circumstances of the refugee bishops and flock could easily have paved the road to servility in relations with the state church of mighty British Empire. This paper will conclude by pointing out the controversial qualities of Anthony’s attitude toward Anglicans.

A Brief Historical Background

Despite the Crimean War, Russian Orthodox and Anglicans in the early twentieth century had no history of animosity; on the contrary, their relations were cordial. As far back as at the beginning of the eighteenth century, Emperor Peter the Great had served as a mediator between Anglican Non-Juror bishops and the Eastern patriarchs. 2 The first half of the nineteenth century brought a fruitful correspondence between the Oxford don William Palmer, who sought to enter into communion with the Orthodox Church, and the Russian lay zealot of Orthodoxy Aleksei Khomiakov. I was fortunate to learn more about this correspondence from Richard Mammana’s presentation at the 2004 Holy Trinity Seminary Colloquium. 3 According to Khomiakov, Western Christianity ‘ceased to be Christianity when it ceased to be the Church’. 4 Khomiakov wrote to Palmer:

‘All Sacraments are completed only in the bosom of the true Church, and it matters not whether they are completed in one form or another. Reconciliation renovates the Sacraments or completesthem, giving a full and Orthodox meaning to the rite that before was either insufficient or heterodox, and the repetition of the preceding Sacraments is virtually contained in the rite or fact of reconciliation. Therefore the visible repetition of Baptism or Confirmation, though unnecessary, cannot be considered as erroneous, and establishes only a ritual difference without any difference of opinion. You will understand my meaning more clearly still by a comparison with another fact in ecclesiastical history. The Church considers Marriage as a Sacrament, and yet admits married heathens into her community without re-marrying them. The conversion itself gives the sacramental quality to the preceding union without any repetition of the rite. This you must admit, unless you admit the impossibility, that the Sacrament of Marriage was by itself complete in the lawful union of the heathen couple.’ 5

This remarkable passage should be borne in mind inasmuch as it provides a remarkably clear example of the theory of sacramental oikonomia 6 elaborated by Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitskii.

The meeting between Metropolitan Filaret of Moscow and Pastor J. Young of the American Episcopal Church, in 1865, almost twenty years after the Khomiakov-Palmer correspondence, offers a different ecclesiological perspective. Metropolitan Filaret, in his conversations with Dr. Young envisioned the possibility of Eucharistic communion on the basis of unity of faith. 7 Filaret considered that because members of the Anglican Church were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, they could be received into the Orthodox Church without rebaptism, even though they were not immersed during baptism. However, such people were to be chrismated because Anglicans did not consider confirmation to be a sacrament. 8

The cordial relations between Anglicans and Russian Orthodox continued to develop throughout the rest of the nineteenth century. In 1888 Metropolitan Platon of Kiev, in his response to felicitations on the nine-hundredth anniversary of the conversion of Rus to Christianity, wrote to the Archbishop Benson of Canterbury:

If you also, as appears from your letter, desire that we may be one with you in the bonds of the Gospel, I beg you to communicate to me distinctly and definitely upon what conditions you consider the union of your and our Churches would be possible. 9

Due to its centuries-long conflict with Rome, the Anglican Church was in need of attention from the Orthodox Church. As the now Metropolitan Kallistos put it:

“After the condemnation of Anglican orders by Pope Leo XIII in 1896 in his encyclical Apostolicae Curae, many Anglicans hoped to counterbalance this by persuading the Orthodox Church to recognize the validity of their priesthood and episcopate.” 10

The subsequent ‘diplomatic attitude’ of the Russian Orthodox Church—when Bishop William Maclagan of York visited Russia in 1897, he was greeted, on different occasions, with the singing of Eis polla eti, despota 11— was considered promising by Anglicans. Such is in very broad terms the historical context prior to Anthony’s correspondence with Gardiner, which became the final exposition of Russian theological thought on Non-Orthodox Christians before the Russian Revolution. 12

Anthony’s Correspondence with Gardiner

Metropolitan Anthony’s views on Non-Orthodox Christianity are clearly stated in a letter of 1915 responding to an invitation from its secretary, Robert S. Gardiner of the Episcopalian Church in the United States, to participate in the conference on Faith and Order:

The Church’s anathema throws disobedient persons from the salvific flock of Christ, which remains with the same fullness of grace-filled gifts (…) The Orthodox Church always taught through the mouth of the holy fathers and the canons of the Ecumenical Councils that there is no communion with grace-filled life in Christ outside her and that one receives His [Christ’s] gifts only in her bosom and that outside of her there are no bishops, nor priests, nor mysteries. 13

From 1915 to 1916 Archbishop Anthony sent three letters to Gardiner. In his second letter 14 Anthony notes that the Orthodox Church receives Catholics, Protestants, and Anglicans without baptizing them, as the Quinisext Council, in Canon 95, prescribed for the reception of Arians and Monophysites. Anthony referred to Canon 31 of the Council in Laodicea and Canon 95 of the Quinisext Council to demonstrate that ecclesial bodies that not in communion with the Orthodox Church cannot be called Christians. All honorific salutations to non-Orthodox Christians which may be found in the epistles of Orthodox hierarchs throughout history are only diplomatic niceties.

Anthony viewed his ecclesiological position—that outside the Orthodox Church there is no sacramental grace—as a return to the norms of the ancient Church. 15 However, while considering all non-Orthodox Christians as heretics, Anthony maintained broad pastoral and practical aims. In the same reply to the above-mentioned invitation to participate in an ecumenical conference, he stated that a friendly relationship with Anglicans and representatives of heterodox confessions is pleasing to God. In his third letter 16 Anthony notes that the previous correspondence had been fruitful. To Gardiner’s argument that there is no point in holding the conference if the Orthodox Church shares Anthony’s beliefs, Anthony expressed his positive attitude toward this conference: “Indeed, we are not going to concelebrate there, but shall have to search together for a true teaching on the controversial points of faith.” 17 The third and last letter concluded with these words:

“[C]onviction in the rightness of one’s own Church and that all heretics and schismatics are void of grace does not impede an objective and patient discussion on issues of faith and absolutely cannot instill in the adherents of these views a proud and a disdainful mood”. 18

Anthony considered the reception of an Anglican bishop into the Orthodox Church without re-ordination feasible. However, he may remain a bishop only if his flock is willing to join the Orthodox Church along with him. The recurring leitmotif of Anthony’s correspondence is this: only one Church is genuine.

After the Collapse of the Russian Empire

The relationship with the Anglican Church had a special meaning for Russian Church refugees. The Anglican Church enjoyed the status of the established religion of Great Britain, which had been Russia’s ally in World War I and later supported the White Army. Some of the appeals from representatives of the Russian Church to members of the Anglican Church were forwarded to the British government. At the same time, the financial hardships of Russian refugees would have been eased by the assistance of the Anglican Church. These opportunities explain why the Anglican Church became the main partner of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (ROCA) in the inter-confessional dialogue during the period before World War II.

Already in Russia, the future refugee bishops had started appealing to the Anglican Church. On December 30, 1918, Metropolitan Platon of Odessa sent a letter to Archbishop Randall Davidson of Canterbury in which, in addition to an account of persecution, Platon informed him of the arrest of Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitskii by Petliura government. The letter concludes:

‘All my efforts to liberate this innocent martyr led to nothing. I implore Your Eminence and your body of bishops to help free the Metropolitan from the hands of his persecutors and the Church from the frightful agonies which she is enduring.’ 19

In his reply (published in the article referred to in footnote 19, supra), the Archbishop assured Metropolitan Platon that he was doing all he could and at the same time called upon the dioceses of the Anglican Church to read a special prayer for the persecuted Russian Church.

When the Russian refugees became too numerous for the small Embassy Chapel in Welbeck Street, the Bishop of London turned over to them St. Philip’s Church on Buckingham Palace Road, which had been closed for Anglican worship. 20

The Trial of Patriarch Tikhon

For their part, the Anglicans, in their polemics with the Catholic Church, were able to point to their relations with representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad as a movement toward the recognition of Anglican orders.

Canon John A. Douglas was the Anglican Church liaison with the Orthodox Churches. Although it is known that he acted in the spirit of imperial diplomacy, i.e., divide et impera, 21 I have not seen evidence that his relations with the ROCA caused it any harm.

On May 5, 1922, Patriarch Tikhon was put on trial in Moscow for his opposition to the confiscation of Church assets by the state and the next day was placed under house arrest. At its meeting of May 30, 1922, the Higher Church Authority Abroad (HCAA) resolved to address all the heads of the Orthodox and heterodox Churches with a special appeal to protest about the violence carried out against Patriarch Tikhon. 22 Appeals to the heads of states and of Christian Churches were sent on June 15, 1922. 23

Metropolitan Anthony received a response from Archbishop Davidson of Canterbury to the effect that he had brought this matter up in the House of Lords, and that he had contacted Moscow directly to protest the injustice toward Patriarch Tikhon. 24

On May 8, 1923, Great Britain’s ambassador to Moscow, Sir Robert Hodson, delivered to the Soviet government an ultimatum prepared by the British Foreign Minister, Lord Curzon. Its twenty-first paragraph contained a protest against the suppression of religion in Russia: ‘A country in which faith is persecuted and the servants of the altar have been crucified must be struck off the list of civilized countries…’ 25 According to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who later told him as much, Anthony’s own letters were responsible for the release of Tikhon from prison on June 30, 1923. 26 In fact, as I have discovered, the key orchestrator of the campaign in the United Kingdom for the liberation of Patriarch Tikhon was none other than Canon Douglas. The note written by Douglas on March 10, 1954, is worth reproducing:

“At the risk of egregious vanity, I say here that in rousing public opinion in England and in bringing about a practically unanimous protest in the House of Commons which being construed as intimating that if the Patriarch were ‘executed’ war would follow, I played the principal part. (…) Raczynski [count Edward, Polish diplomat] learnt by secret means of the (…) execution of Cieplak [Roman Catholic Archbishop] and others the night it happened and informed me. I informed Archbishop Davidson and the Foreign Office and Slesser, the former Attorney General and The Times. In result we staged a dramatic scene in the Commons the next afternoon when even George Lansbury, who had been apologetic for the Bolshevik Government, could not get a hearing. Krassin [Soviet Ambassador], the opposite number of Sir Robert Hodson, who was in Berlin, came to London by airplane and (I refused to call on him at this invitation) came to call on me and asked, ‘How can we fend off war?’ Slesser was with me and I answered: ‘By releasing Tikhon and stopping the shooting of the Roman Catholic Archbishop!’ Krassin went off and rang me two hours later that the advice had been accepted in Moscow.” 27

A Turning Point in the Ecclesiology of the ROCA

File No. 169 (started on September 20 of 1923), listed in the ‘Inventory of Files Kept in the Chancery of the Higher Church Authority Abroad/Synod of Bishops’ 28 relates to the Anglican Church: ‘On the reception of the Anglican missionary Joseph Cote into Orthodoxy and his ordination to rank of deacon’. 29 Information on this event appeared in The Christian East. 30 The anonymous author of this correspondence argued against the logic of certain Roman Catholic theologians in holding that the Russian Church ‘rejects’ Anglican orders. The author explains that the Orthodox Church does not possess a ‘clear-cut’ policy on heterodox ordinations:

They are free to accept them or, even though they possess all outward marks of the Apostolic Succession, to refuse to do so. (…) Reception of adherents to Orthodoxy in their Orders or their reordination is to the Orthodox a matter in which the Church is at liberty as a wise steward to exercise discretion or economy. 31

Considering that one of the editors of The Christian East was in Belgrade a few days after Cote’s ordinations, this understanding of sacramental oikonomia must have proceeded from Metropolitan Anthony’s statement in Novoe Vremia. 32 Anthony also observed that, since the Russian Patriarch Tikhon had not pronounced on Anglican ordinations,

he [Anthony] felt bound not to create a precedent and that, though Roman orders possessed the outward marks of Apostolic succession, he should re-ordain any Roman priest or bishop who came to him, even the Pope himself. 33

This last remark speaks volumes about the ecclesiology of Metropolitan Anthony, and Anthony’s statement became a turning point for further developments in ROCA. To make a comparison, the Church in Russia in the Synodal period had received Roman Catholic clergy in their existing rank, and the rite for such receptions (i.e., for reception without ordination) was composed by Metropolitan Filaret of Moscow. 34

Later the journal Irenikon claimed that Metropolitan Anthony’s statement led to the signing of the 1924 appeal for the Rapprochement with ‘Easterners’ by Bishop Gore and 3,715 members of the Anglican clergy. 35

A Pan-Orthodox Chief Procurator

Anthony took the activity of Anglicans on behalf of the Orthodox Church as a manifestation of their noble spirit, which he pointedly distinguished from the egoistic foreign policy of Great Britain. He offered this view in his article ‘A Friend in Need and Danger is A Friend Indeed’, published in early 1924. 36 Anthony wrote that the Anglicans rightly interceded with the Patriarchate of Constantinople in order to repudiate the decisions of the Pan-Orthodox Congress of 1923. According to Anthony, Ecumenical Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis wanted to please the Anglicans, but they (the Anglo-Catholics) pointed to the unwholesome character of the proposed reforms, which Meletios then rejected. Anthony noted that hopes for the unification of Western nations with the Orthodox Church were connected with just such trends of British spiritual life, but not with Latin superstitions. Anthony concludes again that it was proper to receive the Anglicans into the Orthodox Church by the third rite, i.e., in their clerical ranks. Such recognition of the possibility of the reception of Anglicans without reordination was the most valuable church-political concession that Douglas could obtain from the widely respected leader of the refugee Russian Church. For his part, Anthony saw Douglas as an intercessor, rather like a chief procurator of the Russian Most Holy Governing Synod. In his letter of July 20, 1924, Anthony 37 had asked Douglas to assist in obtaining from the principal secretary of State for the Colonies permission for the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Palestine to sell some of their fallow lands. 38

In his response of February 20, 1925, to Douglas’s query as to whether an ecumenical patriarch may, according to canonical regulations, reside outside Constantinople, Anthony comments:

Of course he can, and the inhabitants of the Capital are bound to continue to count him as their Chief Pastor, and are bound to obey him as we our Holy Patriarch (…) 39

When the rumours reached Metropolitan Anthony that the British government wanted to install Patriarch Meletios on the Jerusalem see instead of Patriarch Damianos, Anthony wrote to Douglas persuading him not to support Meletios. 40

In his letter to Douglas on October 28, 1925, Metropolitan Anthony discussed prospective candidates for the vacant see of the Alexandrian Patriarchate. 41 In an undated letter, Anthony advises Douglas that Anglicans should stand up for Metropolitan Sergii Stragorodskii, who was ‘the best and [the most righteous? – handwriting is illegible – A.P.] among all Russian bishops’. 42 In the same letter Anthony requests the Anglican Church to protect Russian monks residing on Mount Athos against the oppression of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

We see, then, that from 1922 through 1926 Anthony maintained a close and mutually supportive relationship with Canon Douglas.

Nicene Celebration in Great Britain

A celebration held by the Church of England in June, 1925, to mark the 1600th anniversary of the Great Ecumenical Council of Nicaea offered Douglas an opportunity to reap the fruit of his friendship with Metropolitan Anthony. Having had such a prominent conservative theologian as a guest of the Anglican Church would certainly have been a testament to its public relations. 43 In order to persuade Anthony to come to England, Douglas mentioned the possibility of raising funds for a newly established theological institute in Paris—a ‘pet project’ of the metropolitan. 44 For the sake of others, the self-sacrificing hierarch accepted the invitation.

Besides Metropolitan Anthony (who was Chairman of the ROCA Synod of Bishops), Metropolitan Evlogii of Western Europe, and Bishop Veniamin of Sebastopol, the Orthodox Church was represented by Metropolitan Germanos of Thyateira (the Ecumenical Patriarchate), Patriarch Photios of Alexandria (representing, also, Patriarch Gregorios of Antioch), Patriarch Damianos of Jerusalem, Prof. H. Alivizatos (Church of Greece), Archpriest Radu (Romanian Patriarchate), and Prof. N. Glubokovskii (for the Bulgarian Church).

Anthony, among other Orthodox hierarchs, participated in the solemn procession headed by the Ecclesial Council of Canterbury. 45 At a festive reception in the Holborn Hotel, in response to Sir Samuel Hoare’s speech on Christian unity, Anthony remarked that while the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church exists, at the same time Christianity—that is, individuals, religious communities, and entire communities who believe in Christ as God and recognize the Holy Scriptures—also exists. 46 Such thoughts on the existence of the Church and Christianity make it appear that Metropolitan Anthony was not in full accord with what he had written earlier to Robert Gardiner. However, Anthony’s position on ecumenism is expressed in almost identical words in his correspondence with Gardiner:

‘Striving for unification [in faith] is the obligation of all those who have a zeal for the Word of God. Such unification should be expressed first of all in freeing our souls not only from all feelings of ill will toward those not of a like mind, but also from efforts in our own minds to prove them wrong. On the contrary, he among us will be more pleasing to God who puts forward an effort to clarify everything that unites us and who will strive not to reduce the number of such truths, but possibly to increase them, and especially in relation to those Christian bodies and confessions that come to meet our Church in friendship.’ 47

According to the testimony of Evlogii, Anthony also expressed the following view: ‘All heterodox confessions are deprived of hierarchical grace, and one cannot exempt the Anglican Church from other Christian confessions, including the Catholic Church.’ 48 However, at a visit to a seminary in Canterbury during the same celebration, Anthony said:

‘Look with reverence on your pastoral service as upon the highest service before the Lord, if you will be worthy to fulfil your high responsibility (…) Young people, chosen by God: you are called to the highest earthly service to God—to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth.’ 49

For the first time in the history of the Russian Church, such representative delegations participated in ecumenical events. John Strickland considers the Nicene celebrations to be the formal beginning of ecumenism in the Russian Diaspora. 50 On his way back to Serbia, Anthony stayed at the Institut de Theologie Orthodoxe Saint-Serge ‘long enough to deliver lectures’. 51 Strickland even hypothesizes that Anthony’s account of the Nicene celebrations could have been an inspiration for the future ecumenical activity of Archpriest Sergii Bulgakov, who arrived in Paris that same summer. 52 The following excerpt from a letter to Douglas dated September 8, 1925, vividly expresses Metropolitan Anthony’s ecumenical delight in British festivities:

It is very clear to me that the soul and heart of a faithful Englishman is not limited by utilitarian goals and plans, whether narrowly political or national. Heaven and afterlife have not been expelled from this heart; although, the theory of moral utilitarianism has been designed in England, so what? Despite the fact that Holy Russia gave to the world not just to St. Seraphim of Sarov, but also Lenin, it is still Holy Russia.

Mutual trust of the better parts of the soul—that is the quality that draws both individuals and nations closer, freeing an intellectual exchange from suspicions and insincerity. These suspicions, which people usually have who discuss questions of confessional differences, are the main obstacles to rapprochement both in convictions and in life. Englishmen showed us the best parts of their souls, and we, in our turn, have to continue to study their theology and religious life. 53

Later Developments

As a consequence of Anthony’s trip to Great Britain, a special commission was formed by the Synod Abroad under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Anthony and including Archbishops Feofan and Sergii, Fr. N. Malakhov, and E. I. Makharoblidze, for the realization of the proposal for the rapprochement of Orthodox and Anglicans. 54 However, the first meeting of the commission took place only in late 1926. 55 One year later Anthony wrote to Douglas that, although the commission had performed some functions, it was hard for their members to meet, since they were residing in the three different countries. 56

The relations between Douglas and Anthony lapsed at the time of the division within the Russian Church Diaspora that took place in 1926. Although I do not have enough evidence to speculate on the reasons for this lapse, it is likely that continuing financial support by the Anglican Church of the theological institute in Paris, which became a stronghold of the ‘rival’ Metropolitan Evlogii, gave Metropolitan Anthony less impetus to deepen contacts with the Anglicans.

Nevertheless, in 1928 Metropolitan Anthony sent a letter of support to Archbishop Davidson in connection with his resignation. Anthony expressed his regrets that a new version of the Book of Common Prayer more compatible with Orthodox beliefs had not been approved by the parliament, and he expressed optimism regarding the possibility of a union of churches, although not in the near future. 57

In 1929 Anthony arrived in London for the consecration of Archimandrite Nikolai Karpov as Bishop in London. At the liturgy on June 29, two Anglican bishops were present as official representatives of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The first of these bishops stood vested throughout the liturgy next to the iconostasis wall while Canon Douglas held his crosier. 58 On July 1, Anthony was received by Archbishop William Cosmo Gordon Lang. The latter, in his welcoming speech, expressed his deep regret for the sufferings of the Russian Church, especially the hierarchs and clergy. Anthony, in his response, reminded the primate of the Anglican Church about the memorandum which he had sent a month before their meeting. This memorandum contained a detailed report on the sufferings of the Russian clergy and described the Soviet concentration camp Solovki and its horrible execution section, Sekirka. Archbishop Lang replied that he would do all he could to help Russian clergy. 59

The Issue of Concelebrations in Australia

Various practices of other Orthodox Churches with respect to communion in prayer with the Anglicans raised the question of what guidelines to adopt for clergy of the ROCA. 60 There was some correspondence regarding this controversial practice between Metropolitan Anthony and the ROCA clergy in Australia. 61 From this correspondence it appears that Metropolitan Anthony sent an inquiry to Archimandrite Mefodii Shlemin in order to learn details of the concelebration of an Anglican Archbishop with a Greek Metropolitan. Mefodii noted that accounts of such cases rarely appeared in the press. 62 It is interesting that according to this correspondence the use of the word “concelebration” is not limited to eucharistic communion. In this letter the word is applied to the case of an Anglican cleric who was present at the altar of a Syrian Orthodox church fully vested, and to whom, after the consecration of the Holy Gifts, prosphora was offered. At the same liturgy, the Epistle was read by a Catholic. 63 It is obvious that Metropolitan Anthony did not welcome such ‘ecumenical’ gatherings, and Archimandrite Mefodii had to justify his own inaction by writing to Anthony, saying that if he (Mefodii) objected to such practices he would be reprimanded by other local clergy. Another ROCA cleric, Archpriest Valentin Antoniev, received a letter dated December 12, 1934 64 from Metropolitan Anthony saying that because the Anglicans are not united with the Orthodox Church and since there is no decision by the whole Orthodox Church concerning their orders, Fr. Valentin cannot pray with them while vested, but only while wearing the kamilavka. In response to this letter Archpriest Antoniev explained that good relations with Anglicans in Queensland were established by Protopresbyter A. Shabashev. Similarly, Canon Garland had often attended services at the St. Nicholas Cathedral (ROCA) in Brisbane wearing vestments granted to him by Patriarch Damianos of Jerusalem. Anthony’s correspondence with the clergy in Australia poses the following question: How are the cases that had been discussed with the Australian clergy different from having the Anglican bishops in London wear their vestments throughout the liturgy at Bishop Nikolai’s consecration?

Edgar Moore’s Case

On October 26, 1935, the question of how an Anglican priest, Edgar Moore, 65 should be received into the Orthodox Church, was reviewed at a meeting of the ROCA’s Bishops’ Council, under the presidency of Metropolitan Anthony. This question was posed by Archbishop Anastasii in his report, ‘since it is the first case in the ROCA’:

‘Moore belonged to the High Church and (the Orthodox Church has not spoken regarding its ordinations) while the Churches of Constantinople, Jerusalem, and Cyprus recognized Apostolic succession in the Anglican Church, the other Churches have not come to an agreement and Archbishop Chrysostomos [Church of Greece] was decidedly against it. 66 The Russian Church did not solve this question positively either. Our scholars who researched the question of the Apostolic succession of the Anglican hierarchy did not decide upon the recognition of Anglican ordination as a Mystery in the teaching of [those] Anglicans who do not recognize priesthood as a Mystery.

It was resolved to recognize as binding the practice of the Church of Russia, particularly in America when the late Patriarch Tikhon was the Archbishop, as the precedent for the reception of Anglican clergy, and to receive Edgar Moore into the Orthodox Church through ordination.’ 67

It is clear that Metropolitan Anthony’s proposal for the reception of Anglicans by the third rite was never accepted by the ROCA.

The Understanding of Sacramental Oikonomia

Given the ongoing discussions about Anglican ordinations, Metropolitan Anthony published the article ‘Why Anglican Clergy May Be Received in their Orders’ 68 in The Christian East, 69 which also presents his general position on the heterodox. I cannot review in this paper all the ramifications of Anthony’s canonical exegesis, and I will emphasize only a few of the most relevant points.

According to Anthony, the way heretics and schismatics are received depends on the relationship of the dissidents to the Church. Anthony considered the concept that heretics and schismatics have a certain grace to have been inherited from the Latins. 70

According to Anthony every mystery has two sides: the visible and the invisible. The latter is intrinsic only to the true Church. For ‘the edification of many’ 71 it is permissible to join the Church without the repetition of baptism when the societies separated from the Church have preserved an outward form of the sacrament. In this case a convert is being received according to the notion of sacramental oikonomia, and he receives the grace of baptism in the mode of the reception in the Church (e.g., chrismation).

Only a bishop may perform the reception of a clergyman. 72 However, a proper ‘outer’ form should be present for the practice of such oikonomia. The consideration of benefits to the Church should guide its methods of reception. For instance, the Church received Nestorians in the laxer way when ‘they had forsaken their fanaticism and sought reunion with the true Church’. 73 In determining the manner of reception, socio-political circumstances should also be considered.


Although Anthony’s relationship with Anglicans was largely focused on the practical needs of Russian refugees, it would be fair to say that he did hold genuinely ecumenical hopes for the return of Anglicanism to Orthodoxy.

There is solid evidence of this desire in his correspondence with Gardiner, which took place while Russia was still the Orthodox Christian Empire. Anthony, in his dealings with non-Orthodox Christians, provides an outstanding example of an uncompromising ecumenical witness, and while he was expecting favours from the Anglican Church, he felt neither obliged to concelebrate with Anglicans in Australia nor compelled to await the return of the Anglican Church to Orthodoxy, and he consecrated the first Orthodox bishop holding the title of a British see since the eleventh century: Bishop Nikolai of London. 74

Metropolitan Anthony was a strict adherent of the ecclesiology of Saint Cyprian of Carthage that baptism performed outside the canonical boundaries of the Orthodox Church is not valid. 75 By the time of the Russian Revolution, Russian theological thought regarding non-Orthodox Christians paralleled the position of Blessed Augustine, who stated that a baptism performed by the schismatics 76 in the name of the Holy Trinity is legitimate, given that it comes from the Lord Himself, and that this sacrament begins to act fully for salvation only when the sin of schism is cured by joining the Church. 77

This position was a foundation for the opinion expressed by St. Filaret of Moscow in his conversation with Dr. Young.

St. Cyprian’s ecclesiology, that there are no mysteries outside the Church, was never refuted by the Orthodox Church. 78 However, to the degree to which I am capable of judging, in the practical aspect of reception the internal logic of canons follows Augustine rather than Cyprian. The attempt to reconcile Cyprianic ecclesiology with existing grades of reception into the Church, known as sacramental oikonomia, was only partially attended to by the Church Fathers (St. Basil the Great, Blasteres, and St. Nikodemus the Hagiorite). 79 I have not been able to find evidence that any of the fathers of the canons subscribed to the view of Khomiakov and Metropolitan Anthony that in the reception of baptism performed outside the Orthodox Church only the external form was accepted, and that this form might be filled by grace at the moment of reception. The earliest traces of this scholastic explanation can be seen only in the eleventh century. 80

Anthony’s profound point at the anniversary’s festivities in Great Britain that ‘there is Christianity and there is the Church’ could be extended to an explanation of the reception into the Orthodox Church without the repetition of baptism. Indeed, there is only one Church, but this Church, as Archpriest Georges Florovsky beautifully explains,

continues to work in the schisms in expectation of that mysterious hour when the stubborn heart will be melted in the warmth of God’s prevenient grace, when the will and thirst for communality and unity will finally burst into flame. 81

In sum, according to the Orthodox tradition, baptism performed outside canonical boundaries is either accepted as an entry into some kind of Christian life, one that requires a further rite of reconciliation with the Church, or it is not recognized at all, in which case the one seeking to join the Orthodox Church would be received by baptism. 82

Throughout this paper we have seen what Archimandrite Kiprian Kern meant when he wrote that Anthony ‘represented a typical Russian paradox’. 83 While most of his life in Russia he had struggled against the domination of the Church by the State, in the diaspora he had been eagerly discussing the issues of inter-Orthodox affairs with an Anglican functionary. Similarly, while he had been fighting against the ‘pseudomorphosis’ of Russian theology in favour of a return to the mind of Holy Fathers, he challenged those points of Orthodox ecclesiology, which in fact were authentic and patristic. Furthermore, while his ecclesiological model of the Church could be fairly represented as a fortress under siege, his personal and spiritual broad-mindedness, his compassion for humankind, so vividly seen in his speech to the Anglican seminarians, did not allow this ecclesiology to result in self-sufficiency and narrow-mindedness.

Metropolitan Antonii (Khrapovitskii): Archpastor of the Russian Diaspora, Conference Proceedings, V. Tsurikov, ed. (Foundation of Russian History, 2014), 92-113.


  1. This article was presented in the abbreviated form at The Holy Trinity Seminary Colloquium, Jordanville, NY, October 2006. I wish to thank the administration of Holy Orthodox Trinity Seminary for their assistance in financing my research in London. I thank also the Lambeth Palace Library staff and particularly Clare Brown for facilitating my work with the Canon Douglas archive. I am most grateful to V. Rev. Vadim and Mrs Zakrevsky for providing me with accommodations during my stay in London. The Russian text of this paper is published in Vestnik PSTGU: Istoriia Russkoi Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi II-4.29 (2008) 70-83.
  2. Tatiana Soloviova, “Sketch of Anglican-Orthodox Dialogue in the Nineteenth Century,” Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Europe, Eastern Christian Studies 3 (Leuven-Paris-Dudley, MA, 2003), 518, n.5.
  3. ‘Not a Harmony of Discords: Ecclesiology in the Correspondence of Aleksei Khomiakov and William Palmer, 1844-1854’, Readings in Russian Religious Culture 2 (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Seminary Press, 2004), 98-128.
  4. ‘Neskol’ko slov pravoslavago khristianina o zapadnykh ispovedaniiakh: po povodu odnogo okruzhnogo poslaniia parizhskago arkhiepiskopa’ [Tr. from French, 1855] Polnoe Sobranive Sochinenii 2 (Moscow, 1907), 142.
  5. Khomiakov’s letters were written in English. ‘Mr. Khomiakoff’s Third Letter to Mr. Palmer [1846]’, Russia and the English Church: Containing a Correspondence between Mr. William Palmer, Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and M. Khomiakoff in the years 1844-1854, ed. W. J. Birkbeck, (London, 1917), 62-63. Khomiakov did not take into account that the ancient Church had an understanding of Roman law, and that the matrimonial contract is a foundation of marriage entered upon by two free people whose joint participation in the Eucharist was, as it were, the seal of their marriage. Сf. Fr. John Meyendorff, Marriage: An Orthodox Perspective (Crestwood, NY, 1984), 17, 21.
  6. By ‘sacramental oikonomia’ I mean an explanation of the rationale behind the reception of Non-Orthodox Christians into the Orthodox Church.See A. Psarev, The 19th Canonical Answer of Timothy of Alexandria: On the History of Sacramental Oikonomia. St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 51:2-3 (2007), 297-320.
  7. I.K.Smolich, Istoriia Russkoi Tserkvi: 1700-1917, 8.2 (Moscow: Publishing House of the Valaam Monastery, 1997), 371.
  8. L. Brodskii, ‘Voprosy chlena anglikanskoi tserkvi, po sobstevnnomu ego vyrazheniu, mirianina, i otvety na nikh Moskovskago mitropolita Filareta,” Mneniia, otzyvy i pis’ma Filareta, Mitropolita Moskovskago i Kolomenskago, po raznym voprosam za 1821-1867 gg., (Moscow: 1905. Westmead 1971), 312.
  9. A History of the Ecumenical Movement 1517-1948, Ruth Rouse & Stephen Neill eds. (London, 1954), 210.
  10. Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church (Penguin Books: 1997), 319.
  11. Birkbeck and the Russian Church, ed. Athelstan Riley (London, 1917), 123, 140, 147.
  12. In fact, the epistle of St. Ilarion Troitskii was the last, pre-Revolutionary exposition of Russian theological thought on non-Orthodox Christians; however, Ilarion wrote in response to Gardiner’s letter that followed from Anthony’s correspondence with Gardiner (The Unity of the Church and the World Conference of Christian Communities: A Letter to Mr. Robert Gardiner, Secretary of the Commission to Arrange a World Conference of Christian Communities, Margarert Jerinec tr., [Montreal, 1975]. Originally, this letter was published as ‘Edinstvo Tserkvi i vsemirnaia konferentsiia’, Bogoslovskii vestnik, 1 [1917], 3-60)
  13. ‘Otvet Vysokopreosviashchennago Arkhiepiskopa Antoniia predstaviteliam episkopal’noi tserkvi v Amerike kasatel’no “soedineniia tserkvei”’, Vera i razum 4 (Khar’kov, 1915), 456.
  14. ‘Bratskii otvet na vtorichnoe pis’mo sekretariia Severo-Amerikanskoi konferentsii o soedinenii tserkvei’, Vera i Razum 17(September 1915), 678-689.
  15. ‘Otvet Vysokopreosviashchennago’, 458.
  16. ‘Otvet na tret’e pis’mo sekretariia Vsemirnoi Konfertsii Episkopal’noi Tserkvi v Amerike’, Vera i razum 8-9 (August-September 1916), 877-897.
  17. Ibid., 883.
  18. Ibid., 894.
  19. Rev. G.K.A. Bell, ‘War-Time Correspondence between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of Russia’, The Christian East 1.1 (March 1920), 8.
  20. London, Lambeth Palace Library (hereinafter referred to as Lambeth), J.A. Douglas Papers, vol.43, f.1.
  21. Cf. Za rubezhom: Belgrade-Parizh-Oksford. Khronika sem’i Zernovykh (1921-1972), ed. N.M. & M.V. Zernov (Paris, 1973), 251-252; [Metropolitan Evlogii Georgievskii Put’ moei zhizni: vospominaniia Mitropolita Evlogiia izlozhennyia po ego razskazam T. Manukhinoi (Paris, 1947), 594; Letter of N. Glubokovskii to a certain Protodeacon Vladimir of December 22, 1923 (Lambeth, J.A.Douglas Papers, vol.46, f.17).
  22. Archive of the Synod of Bishops of the ROCA in New York (hereinafter referred to as Archive of the Synod). File references are noted where available; folia numeration is not available.
  23. ‘Ukaz vysshago russkago tserkovnago upravleniia zagranitsei’, Tserkovnyia vedomosti 6-7 (June 1/14-15/28 1922), 5.
  24. ‘V zashchitu sviateishago Tikhona, patriarkha Moskovskago i vseia Rossii’, Tserkovnyia vedomosti 18-19 (December 1/14-15/28, 1922), 10.
  25. Pis’ma blazheneishago Mitropolita Antoniia (Khrapovitskago) (Jordanville, 1988), 93. English translation taken from: Monk Benjamin Gomarteli, Time Line of the Orthodox Church in the XXth Century [Unpublished manuscript].
  26. ‘U istokov Zarubezhnogo Raskola: Pis’mo Mitr. Antoniia k kn. G.N.Trubetskomu (November 8, 1926)’, Vestnik Russkogo Khristianskogo Studencheskogo Dvizheniia 3 (1987), 237.
  27. Lambeth, Douglas Papers vol.39, f. 1 (with minor omissions).
  28. ‘Opis’ kantseliarii Vysshego Tserkovnogo Upravleniia Zagranitsei. Arkhiereiskogo Sinoda RPTsz’, Archive of the Synod. This inventory was composed in Serbia. There is no information on the location of the files listed in the ‘Inventory’.
  29. Unfortunately, there is no trace of this file in the Archive of the Synod in New York or in the State Archive of the Russian Federation in Moscow, where another part of the Synodal archive from Serbia is kept.
  30. ‘The Metropolitan and Anglican Ordinations’, 5.2 (June, 1924), 54-55.
  31. Ibid., 55.
  32. I have been unable to find the Russian original. This publication was mentioned by Anthony in his cited below response to the speech of Hoare. Clearly this statement has been made in reference to the status of Cote. The passage was quoted in footnote 30, supra.
  33. ‘The Metropolitan and Anglican Ordinations’, 55 (emphasis mine – A.P.).
  34. Archimandrite Ambrosius Pogodin, ‘On the Question of the Order of Reception of Persons into the Orthodox Church, Coming to Her from Other Christian Churches’, tr. Alvian N. Smirensky: the web site of Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco,, accessed March 30, 2008; originally published in Russian in Vestnik Russkogo Khristianskogo Dvizheniia 173 (I-1996) & 174 (II-1996/I-1997). First the candidate is received into the Orthodox Church through the third rite, repentance; then the recognition of his clerical status is considered by the Synod; in the case of a positive resolution the candidate is received by vesting (Protoierei Konstantin Nikol’skii, Posobie k izucheniiu ustava bogosluzhenia Pravoslavnoi Tserkvi (1960), 685).
  35. Dom Lambert Beauduin, ‘Rapprochement’, Irenikon 1.4 (July 1926), 169.
  36. ‘Druz’ia poznaiutsia v bedakh i opasnostiakh’, Tserkovnyia vedomosti (January 1/14-15/28 1924), 9-10.
  37. In this paper I am citing Anthony’s letters to Douglas either from the Russian original or from their English translations.
  38. Lambeth, Douglas papers, vol. 46, f. 22. Fortunately for the future of Russian property in the Holy Land, such permission has never been granted.
  39. Ibid. f. 36.
  40. Ibid., ff 37-38.
  41. Ibid., f. 79.
  42. Ibid., ff. 89-89a. The letter has written sometime before December 1926.
  43. Cf. Letter of Douglas to a certain bishop of July 7, 1925 (Lambeth, Douglas papers, vol. 26, f. 202).
  44. Letter of Douglas to Anthony (No date. Ibid., f. 26).
  45. At these festivities Anthony met Archbishop Randall Davidson of Canterbury whom he always held in great esteem. While still in London he met Dr. Soderblom, the Archbishop of Uppsala and the Lutheran primate of Sweden. In London Anthony stayed with the Cowley Fathers, in St. Edmund’s House near Westmintser Abbey (S. Bolsakov, ‘Chronique religieuse: Le Metropolite Antonie de Kiev, President du Synode des eveques Russes a l’etranger’, Irenikon 13.5 [September-October 1936], 572).
  46. Archbishop Nikon Rklitskii, Zhizneopisanie blazheneishago Antoniia, Mitropolita Kievskago i Galitskago 7 (New York, 1961), 85-86.
  47. Ibid., 85.
  48. Put’, 586.
  49. Archbishop Nikon Rklitskii, Zhizneopisanie, 87.
  50. ‘Ecumenical Ecclesiology in the Russian Diaspora: Reflections on the Cases of Antonii, Bulgakov, and Florovsky’ History – 372 term paper Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary 2002, 13.
  51. Ibid.
  52. Ibid., 15.
  53. Lambeth. Douglas papers, vol. 46, f.62
  54. Nikon, Zhizneopisanie, 84.
  55. Letter of Anthony to Douglas of September 24, 1926. Lambeth, Douglas papers, vol. 46, f. 102.
  56. Ibid., f. 115.
  57. ‘Pis’mo Predsedatelia Arkhireiskago Sinoda Mitropolita Antoniia na imia Arkhiepiskopa Kenterberiiskago lorda Randola Davidsona, po sluchaiu ego otstavki’, Tserkovnyia vedomosti 15-16 (August 1/14-15/28 1928), 2-3.
  58. N.R. [Nikolai Rklitskii], ‘Puteshestvie Vladyki Mitropolita Antoniia’, Tsarskii vestnik 50 (July 15/28, 1929), 1-2.
  59. Ibid.
  60. Such guidelines were finally adopted at the Bishops’ Council of 1953.
  61. Moscow. The State Archive of the Russian Federation (hereinafter cited as GARF) f.6343, op.1, d. 218; folia numeration is not available.
  62. One may assume this question was raised because such information may be confusing to the flock.
  63. It is not clear whether it was a cleric or a layman.
  64. GARF f.6343, op.1, d. 218. The draft was written by Iu. P. Grabbe.
  65. There is fairly extensive archival material regarding Moore’s case in the Canon Douglas papers at the Lambeth Palace Library, which I have been unable to explore.
  66. It was a question of the recognition of the same validity of Anglican orders as the Orthodox Church recognized in Roman Catholic orders. At the Lambeth Conference in 1930 the Patriarch of Alexandria proclaimed the validity of Anglican Orders (Archbishop Serafim, ‘Contribution Toward the Question of the Union of the Anglican Church with the Orthodox’, Major Portions of the Proceedings of the Conference of Heads and Representatives of Autocephalous Orthodox Churches in Connection with the Celebration of 500 Years of Autocephalicity of the Russian Orthodox Church: July 8-18, 1948, Mrs. O.F. Clarke tr., Paul B. Anderson ed., [Paris, 1952], 189). In 1936 the Romanian Church joined the Church of Constantinople in recognizing the apostolic succession of the Anglican Church (Bishop Antim, ‘Meetings of the Commission on the Question “Concerning the Anglican Hierarchy”’, Ibid., 184). The Romanian Patriarch used to communicate Queen Marie of Romania—an Anglican and frequent communicant in the English Church at Bucharest—four times a year (J.A. Douglas, ‘The Orthodox Delegation the Lambeth Conference of 1930’, The Christian East 11.2 [Summer 1930], 62).
  67. GARF f. 6343 op. 1 d. 12. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware considers this act as the declaration of the ROCA, and places it in the same category as the 1948 decree of the Moscow Patriarchate to reordain Anglican clergy (The Orthodox Church [1983], 326).
  68. Cited here from ‘The Basis on which Economy may be used in the Reception of Converts’, Orthodox Life 9 (1980), 27-34. Also available on the Orthodox Christian Information Center Web site, accessed March 30, 2008.
  69. 7.2 (1927), 60-67
  70. ‘The Basis’, 31.
  71. These words correspond to oikonomias eneka ton pollon in the Greek original of the First Canon of St. Basil (Letter CLXXXVIII, The Letters, 3, tr. Roy J. Deferrari [Loeb Classical Library 243, Harvard U. Press, 1962], 16).
  72. Clearly in the Synodal period a Roman-Catholic priest meant to be received by an Orthodox priest when canonical obstacles to the retention of his priesthood are found (Cf., footnote 34, supra).
  73. ‘The Basis’, 30. Cf. Canon 95 of the Quinisext Council.
  74. Both before and after this event, all other Orthodox Churches assigned their bishops to sees in Great Britain with titles from the homeland canonical territories.
  75. Epp. 69.3.1; 70.3.1-3.3; 73.2.2, 7.2, Ancient Christian Writers, tr. G.W. Clarke, 47.4 (New York: Newman Press, 1989), 4, 34, 47-48, 55, 58.
  76. It should be noted the canons do not use the terms ‘schismatic’ and ‘heretic’ unambiguously. For instance, in the seventh canon of the Council of Constantinople, Novatians are called heretics in the same way as Arians and Macedonians. Therefore in each particular case one needs to take note of who is being categorized as a ‘heretic’ or ‘schismatic’.
  77. On Baptism, Against the Donatists, 1.11.19, 1.12.19, 1.9.12, 1.12.18 (The Nicene and Post/Nicene Fathers, ser. 1. 4 [Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1979], 419, 420, 417, 419).
  78. Cf. Bishop Peter L’Huillier, ‘The Reception of Roman Catholics into Orthodoxy: Historical Variations and Norms’, St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 24 (1980), 76.
  79. See Psarev,’The 19th Canonical Answer of Timothy of Alexandria: On the History of Sacramental Oikonomia’, St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 51 (2007), 297-320.
  80. Ibid. 303-307.
  81. ‘The Limits of the Church’, Christian Orthodox Publications: Website of Bishop Alexander Mileant., accessed September 4, 2006. Originally, this article was published in Church Quarterly Review, 1 (October 1933), 117-131.
  82. The teaching of sacramental oikonomia, which Metropolitan Anthony introduced to the ROCA had serious consequences; despite the fact that his recommendation for accepting Anglicans without reordination have never been adopted, Anthony’s views on sacramental oikonomia gradually acquired the status of the official teaching of ROCA Ukaz of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on the Baptism of converts from the West, 15/28 September 1971, Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad and have lead to the opposite results: whereas Anthony argued for the variety of the ways for reception, nowadays, almost without exception, every convert is received through baptism.
  83. Vospominaniia o Mitropolite Antonii (Khrapovitskom) i episkope Gavriile (Chepure) (Moscow: St. Tikhon’s Theological Institute, 2002), 22.


  • This is another outstanding article by Psarev, but in the discussion of Met. St. Philaret’s views, he does not define “validity.” This is rather important, since consideration of an heterodox mystery qua mystery is a different from examination under the lens of coming into unity with the Church.

    The illustrious author also writes regarding the view of oikonomia filling the previous forms as “scholastic” and as having an eleventh century provenance. He cites his own article for this in the footnote. He is surely entitled to his own analysis and opinion, but he is most assuredly not entitled to his own facts. Cannot such a view of oikonomia be attributed to St. Basil the Great in his canons, wherein he says in the same breath that the montanist baptism is graceless but nevertheless for the sake of what some Churches were doing at the time to unite such ones to the Church, “let it be accepted”? To say that it was first articulated in the eleventh century really needs some unpacking. That’s rather like saying the Trinity wasn’t articulated until the 4th Century, icon veneration wasn’t articulated until the 7th Century, or that hesychia wasn’t articulated until the 14th Century. In those instances, the prevailing, traditional view held by the Church was made yet more manifest in light of some controversy surrounding it– not that the viewpoint itself was novel. And so what if it were scholastic? This article is, too.

    I have read the whole lot of articles in English upon this subject which argue for a more Roman Catholic idea of mysteries apart from the Church, and I enjoy them. They tend to cite historical examples and some vague quotations about validity– which is such a slippery word I don’t think it is usually a point for either side. However, all the data– the Church at times “accepting” and at other times repeating the mysteries of the separated Christians entering into Her bosom points to the brilliant synthesis of oikonomia and akribeia that the great canonists of the Church have given us. And then we have the great theological authorities who have spoken the most plainly on the subject– from St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite all the way down to St. John of Kronstadt– and they seem to be, from my reading of them at least, supporters of the view that this great Guiding Star of the Russian diaspora held (on this subject, anyway).

    What I love about the article is that it shows how consistent, within the great personality of this blessed arch-pastor, was this striving for good relations with the heterodox Christians including the study of their theology, and the conviction that the Church is both visible, one, and the place wherein alone the holy Mysteries were accomplished and given for the salvation of all. These are not mutually exclusive as the author demonstrates.

    May we converts from the West have his prayers, and the prayers of all the cross-bearing Russian refugees who by God’s eternal wisdom brought to us the holy Orthodox faith.

    • Dear Isaac,
      Thank you for reading my articles and for your undeservedly kind words. I meant that the teaching on sacramental oikonomia (empty forms of non-Orthodox baptism were being filled with grace at the time of the reception) is of the eleventh century. This particular teaching might have been a Roman Catholic export. Although St. Basil comes comes close to espousing sacramental oikonomia in his Canon 1, there is no evidence that he has ever used this particular theory to explain the reception of the non-Orthodox.

  • Fr. Deacon Andrei,

    I agree with Isaac. Met. Anthony merely held to the Eastern/N. African view vs. the Western view popularized by Sts. Stephen, Jerome and Augustine. Even thereafter, yone can still see a variety of views of views in the West; here are some quotes by two post-Augustine Pope-Saints of Rome.

    St. Leo the Great ca. 400-461

    For they who have received baptism from heretics, not having been previously baptized, are to be confirmed by imposition of hands with only the invocation of the Holy Ghost, because they have received the BARE FORM OF BAPTISM WITHOUT THE POWER OF SANCTIFICATION. And this regulation, as you know, we require to be kept in all the churches, that the font once entered may not be defiled by repetition, as the Lord says, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” And that washing may not be polluted by repetition, but, as we have said, only the sanctification of the Holy Ghost invoked, that WHAT NO ONE CAN RECEIVE FROM HERETICS MAY BE OBTAINED FROM CATHOLIC PRIESTS. (Letter 159.8)

    St. Gregory the Dialogist ca. 540-604

    And indeed we have learned from the ancient institution of the Fathers that whosoever among heretics are baptized in the name of the Trinity, when they return to holy Church, may be recalled to the bosom of mother Church either by unction of chrism, or by imposition of hands, or by profession of the faith only. Hence the West reconciles Arians to the holy Catholic Church by imposition of hands, but the East by the unction of holy chrism. But Monophysites and others are received by a true confession only, because holy baptism, which they have received among heretics, THEN ACQUIRES IN THEM THE POWER OF CLEANSING, WHEN either the former receive the Holy Spirit by imposition of hands, or the latter are united to the bowels of the holy and universal Church by reason of their confession of the true faith.(Epistles, Bk. 11: Epistle 67)

    And here is a very similar view held by an Eastern Father…

    St. John Moschos ca. 550-619

    Saint Athanasios, the Pope of Alexandria, was once asked whether a person could be baptized whose beliefs were not in accordance with the faith and preaching of the Christians, and what would be the fate of — or, how would God receive — somebody who had been baptized under false pretenses and had simulated belief. Athanasios replied: ‘You have heard from those of old how the blessed martyr, Peter, was faced with a situation in which there was a deadly plague and many were running to be baptized for no other reason than that they feared death. A figure appeared to him which had the appearance of angel and which said to him: “How much longer are you going to send from here those purses which are DULY SEALED, BUT ALTOGETHER EMPTY AND HAVE NOTHING INSIDE?” So far as one can tell from the saying of the angel, those who have the seal of baptism are indeed baptized since they thought they were doing a good work in receiving baptism.’ (The Spiritual Meadow, 198)

    These Fathers all acknowledge an empty external form lacking in grace. This is all prior to the 11th cent. and surely they’re not scholastics. St. Maximus, however, demonstrates Sts. Cyprian and Met. Anthony’s understanding explicitly when referring to the Monothelite heretics:

    “They have repeatedly excommunicated themselves from the Church and are completely unstable in the faith. Additionally, they have been cut off and stripped of priesthood by the local council held at Rome. What Mysteries, then, can they perform? And what spirit descends on those whom they ordain?” (St. Dimitri Rostov: Life of St. Maximus)

    Archimandrite Placide Deseille, a former Roman Catholic monk and patristic scholar received into the Church on Mt. Athos by baptism says this:

    “I have been asked for my retrospective opinion on the sacraments that we had ourselves administered while still priests of the Roman Church. I would simply reply that the Orthodox Church speaks more willingly about the “authenticity” and “legitimacy” of sacraments than about their “validity”. Only sacraments administered and received in the Orthodox Church are “authentic” and “legitimate” and, according to the usual order of things, the validity, or effective communications of grace, depends on this legitimacy.” (“Stages of a Pilgrimage”. The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain: Contemporary Voices from Mount Athos trans. By Hieromonk A. Golitzin, pp. 86-90)

    The key to the Orthodox view, if one follows the historical and canonical record, is not uniformity based upon Trinitarian formulas. Instead, it’s based on the freedom and authority of the Church.

    Patriarchal and Synodical Letter (26 May 1875)

    “…the baptism of the Westerners, was SOMETIMES REGARDED AS VALID, because it was done in the name of the Holy Trinity and was referred to the proper baptism, and SOMETIMES AS INVALID, because of the many irregularities of form with which it was clothed with the passage of time by the constantly increasing vain study of the Western Church. Hence, the Most Holy Russian Church, taking its lead from obvious reasons makes use of the Decisions of the newer Synod of Moscow under Patriarch Ioasaph of Moscow, discerning that they are contributive tο the benefιt of the Church in that place, whereas the Churches in the East consider it necessary for the benefit of Orthodoxy to follow the Horos which had been issued under Cyril V.”

  • Can I add two little “footnotes” which might interest you? The Edgar Moore you mention was of course the later famous Father Lazarus Moore, translator of the first edition of the Jordanville prayerbook, The Ladder of St John and many other things. Full details of his reception are in a journal called Orthodox Outlook vol 7, nos.1-3 (47-49, 1993).

    You touch on the very interesting topic of ecclesiastical titles in England. Actually Bishop Nikolai was not the last to hold a non-foreign title. After WWII all the ROCOR bishops here were “of Richmond and Great Britain” until the retirement of Bishop Constantine (?1987). The diocese still legally exists but is called just Great Britain and is administered by Abp Mark. Protodeacon Christopher Birchall’s unpublished history of the London parish, which you probably know, gives a full account of why Richmond was chosen.I remember when Metropolitan Philaret visited England in1965 that he began to commemorate the then Archbishop Nicodem as “of London and Britain” at the Entrance and was quickly corrected by a subdeacon who was nervous because an Anglican bishop was present.
    Even the mighty Roman Catholics never used the old English diocesan names (though they did in Scotland) though there was no objection to local but non-traditional names as far as I know. That other Orthodox churches use foreign titles is just cowardice or false ecclesiology.
    Best wishes

  • Some time back, there was an interview with Patriarch Meletios (Metaxakis) of Alexandria (fornerly, of course, Patriarch of Constantinople), on the American Orthodox History website (it has since been removed). The interview was conducted by Hieromonk Kirill (Johnson), an American convert to Orthodoxy, ordained in the Antiochian jurisdiction in the US. Father Kirill asked Patriarch Meletios about his “recognition of Anglican orders,” and Patriarch Meletios told him that it was solely a personal opinion, that the “recognition” document/”decision” had not been presented to, nor approved by the Holy Synod of the Church of Constantinople, and furthermore, that his signature on the document read only “Meletios,” underscoring that, since he did not include his title of “Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople,” it was simply “personal opinion” only, not to be “acted on” in any fashion. In the introduction to this interview, Hieromonk Kirill made some bold statements about the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the most bold being that “whenever there was a decision to make that benefitted Greek interests, but did not benefit or was harmful to the Orthodox Church, the Ecumeical Patriarchate always decided in favor of Greek interests.” Which is, most probably, why the interview was removed from the site.

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